Job Opening: Programme Support Assistant (Education for Sustainable Development), United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) [Tokyo]

job opening - 5Job: Programme Support Assistant (Education for Sustainable Development)
Institution: United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS)
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Education: University degree
Posted on: April 11, 2013
Deadline: April 21, 2013

The United Nations University (UNU) and the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS)

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate training and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States. The United Nations University (UNU-IAS), as a part of UNU, is committed to contributing innovative solutions to sustainability issues of global concern, particularly those on the UN agenda.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Programme plays a significant role in the implementation of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD, 2005-2014), as a partner to UNESCO, the designated lead agency of DESD. The ESD Programme promotes research and actions to advance partnerships for ESD across geographic, knowledge and sectoral boundaries. The flagship initiatives of the Programme are the Regional Centres of Expertise on ESD (RCEs) and the Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research Network (ProSPER.Net). As of March 2011, 116 regional multi-stakeholder networks for ESD worldwide are officially acknowledged by the UNU as RCEs, and the ProSPER.Net comprises 28 leading higher education institutions in the Asia-Pacific region. The Programme focuses on promotion of regional initiatives through RCEs, strengthening of ESD activities of higher education institutions, and contribution to evidence-based policy dialogue through research, capacity development and strategic engagement with international processes.


The Programme Support Assistant will be a member of a small interdisciplinary team of dedicated professionals, who have the ambition to make the ESD Programme an intellectual leader in the area of ESD. In close collaboration with selected partner organizations and networks, especially RCEs and ProSPER.Net, the Programme Support Assistant will help provide analytical, administrative and programme support by facilitating communication among partners and networks of the ESD Programme, particularly regarding information, knowledge and experience, assisting team members in fostering collaborative culture among these partners and networks that include UNESCO, Ubuntu Alliance, international organizations and other UN agencies.

Reporting to the Programme Leader/Senior Fellow of the ESD Programme, the incumbent is expected to:

  • Provide clerical support to the Programme Leader;
  • Assist in organization and follow-up of conferences, workshops, seminars and other events under the ESD programme, including logistic and administrative aspects;
  • Facilitate communication among partners and networks of the ESD programme;
  • Assist in research activities, especially for the preparation of case studies on ESD; and
  • Conduct other activities based on specific requests.

Required Qualifications and Experience:

  • A university degree, in a field related to Education, Social Sciences, Development Studies, Environment, Sustainable Development, or Policy Studies;
  • At least three (3) years of progressively responsible experience in a related area. Work experience in international organizations and promoting major international initiatives is an asset;
  • Knowledge and experience of working with coordination and organization of conferences, logistical and financial arrangements, and ideally sustainable development related issues. Knowledge of the UN governance structure will be considered an added advantage;
  • Knowledge of international educational development, ESD, international and comparative education and/or environmental education is a definite advantage;
  • Good computer and organizational skills;
  • Excellent communication skills with fluency in both oral and written English and Japanese. Knowledge of another UN official language is an asset.
  • Excellent analytical skills as well as demonstrated ability to multi-task and to manage own workload and schedule to deliver timely results;
  • A good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

Original posting on United Nation University Institute of Advanced Studies (pdf). Via posting on

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